- "I ain't got no home, I'm just a-roaming' 'round,
- Just a wandrin' worker, I go from town to town.
- And the police make it hard wherever I may go
- And I ain't got no home in this world anymore."
Once upon a time, in an America long ago, there were no Walmarts, no McDonalds,
no factory farms, no corporate farms, and food wasn't genetically altered
with tomatoes crossed with fish, or whatever foolishness mad scientists
do. Towns grew up around the mills, auto plants and foundries. There were
real grandmas then with blue hair, pearls, and flowered aprons; baking
up hams, cookies, and plates of steaming vegetables. Grandma wasn't into
marathons or liposuction. Just taking care of her grandchildren.
- In the milltown where I spent the first nine years of
my life everyone had a garden. We had no TV, though some of the neighbors
did. We read books instead. Monday's were wash day and the clothes lines
danced in an array of sheets, work clothes, and curtains. Mothers were
not forced into the work place, and we somehow all managed from the meager
wages of the mill. No designer clothes, no videos, no exotic eateries or
- Downtowns were filled on payday with neighbors at the
drug store, five and ten, and the local Sears. With no concrete fortress
malls, neighbors chatted on street corners, met at the local diner for
coffee, with children played in the park, with their luxury of the week,
an ice cream cone. The American dream. The American dream, if it be truly
known, was never the thought of some exclusive mansion, yachts, exotic
travels, or diamonds and furs.
- No, it was small town living; fishing in the creek, a
job at the mill or plant, flower gardens, screen doors slamming, picnics
on weekends or a church dinner. The men worked hard in the hot mills with
molten steel being poured, in the mines, or on the assembly line down at
the auto plant. The owners lived far off in an unknown world of luxury
and ease. Work and small town living satisfied most.
Summer nights would have neighbors on porches, a bonfire built to roast
hot dogs, as children scampered through the night catching fireflies, playing
hide and seek, or listening to the latest talk of work or politics. The
clink of milk bottles at dawn, the huckster man with his vegetable wagon,
the bread man, the family doctor with his bag visiting a sick child, nothing
fancy but somehow safe. Medicine was affordable with the pharmacist putting
it on the tab until payday rolled around. The American dream was simply
joying in community and wanting that college education for one's children.
- And now in the 21st century we see the dismantling of
America piece by piece. Really it's been decades in the making. Leaders
were assassinated, men were sent off to an impossible war in Vietnam (on
a lie), drugs poured into the nation destroying communities and families.
Billions have been spent on something called a drug war that was never
meant to be won. Downtowns and thus community was destroyed with the building
of malls and mega stores.
The people were kept dutifully distracted over the years. In the poor neighborhoods;
it was the gangs, drive-by shootings, and riots. Government housing became
hives of people living behind barred doors and windows. It was no longer
safe for fire flies in the night. Ever so insidiously the American dream
has become a forever nightmare. The mills, foundries, machine shops, textile
plants closed quietly one by one by one across the country.
- The fields and woods where I played as a child were buried
in asphalt for a mall, with the remainder of my childhood buried beneath
tons of slag and ash from the mills. The owners of these places lived far
away in removed enclaves of rarified air and park like compounds. What
happened to the 'herd-masses-invisible ones' was none of their concern.
The robber-barons of steel, oil, timber, and the railroads had their way
politically in impoverishing the nation.
Armies of lobbyists saw to special interests being served with subsidies,
tax exemptions, and loopholed regulations. Chemical plants, industry, the
military, factory farms, plundering of forests, oil drilling, incineration,
and mega dumps poisoned whole areas-killing untold thousands. Small town
citizens; with little money and less power, were, and are no match, for
insatiable huckster plunderers who have no allegiance or loyalty to any
land or people. Industry has legions of lawyers and billions to fight any
outrageous concern of citizens not wanting to be poisoned.
- Across the land, small town America became echoing rusted
mill towns. Downtown stores were boarded up, with some old mills turned
into shopping Meccas or upscale novel housing. Mostly though, they stand
as archaic reminders, of a once upon a life. Haunted, men-gray and weary
are advised by the "experts" of government to "retrain".
Only detached, sniffed, arrogance (hired), can proclaim such nonsense.
Scarred steel workers in Pittsburgh were advised to go into computer technology,
train as nurses aides, or as McWorkers! (80s-not on the news)
- President Bush advised in his latest State of the Union
address that the millions of unemployed should now train to be scientists
or health workers. Oops, the computer jobs we were told to train for in
the 70s and 80s are now gone to India. With all due respect, Mr.Bush has
never had to work at a real job in his entire life. Any endeavor he did
enter into, and failed at, was quickly rectified with the family fortunes.
No shut-off notices, evictions, or hungry children in his life. Mr.Bush
and his ilk, including Mr.Kerry, have never gone without that needed prescription,
dental care, or doctor's visit because they didn't have the cash upfront!
- The audacious, unmitigated, malignant gall to advise
men in their late forties, fifties, and sixties, to go out and retrain.
With what pray tell? These men don't have the money, nor the privilege
of attending our nations best schools. There is no family legacy giving
them a preferred placement in an Ivy League college, despite their lack
of intelligence or grade performance. And while these miners, farmers,
textile workers, and auto workers are all attending to college life, what
of their families? Shall they live in the family clunker car or maybe in
shanty Bushvilles set up on the mall in Washington?
Insanity! President Bush's new manufacturing czar, Anthony Raimondo, has
laid off his own workers as he builds a $3 million dollar factory in CHINA.
Since this wizard's appointment another 250,000 manufacturing jobs are
gone overseas. Mr.Bush doing a photo opportunity in Ohio, did well to surround
himself with a gaggle of Republican women entrepreneurs. We weren't made
privy to the smarter Ohio citizens demonstrating out in the streets. TV
never shows dissent against the President or war.
- Be it New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, South
- Mississippi, Oklahoma, California, etc., people are not
buying this flag waving, public relations buffoonery, of electioneering
nor the blame game. Pass the buck...the continual mantra that we hear every
four years. There's the usual whining, that it's not the current administration
but the one past that's to blame for all our woes. Doesn't matter whose
at fault we bear the brunt of the ineptness, greed and incompetence. The
buck stops at our front doors. The fact is, elephant or jackass they are
both to blame---check their voting records.
We no longer need worry over the robber barons influencing Washington.
The robber barons are now firmly ensconced in public office. With a cabinet
made up of oil interests, is it any wonder we don't have an energy policy?
We do, but it's not for public consumption. Now everything can be hidden
under "National Security"...all except the lives of citizens.
Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL), had to be changed to Operation Iraqi
Freedom---least anyone suspect. Thousands of citizens lost their jobs and
pensions, due to this newest (don't forget the S&L fleecing), corporate
fraud, and we get Martha Stewart, with her drive by flower stall heist
off the streets. Martha didn't steal anyone's job or pension--but she's
an example to all, of Government's getting tough on corporate crime! Now
maybe they can get busy investigating the billions unaccounted for at the
Defense Department, or the Haliburton cash cow in Iraq and every other
Agency in Foggy Bottom.
Billions gone missing all over Washington, billions in tax subsidies, billions
for industry to relocate jobs abroad, billions in bailouts for the utilities,
billions more for insurance,airliners, and pharmaceutical companies; and
we're supposed to pay for all this on fixed incomes, jobs in prisons, casinos,
or Walmarts? Would that Martha had been Neil Bush, of the 1 billion rip-off
of the Silvardo Savings and Loan, she'd be doing business with Asia now,
with strange men knocking on her hotel door offering favors. Asia apparently
has a unique way of having you feel welcomed.
- In January 2004 there were 2,428 mass layoffs by employers.
The number of workers was 239,454. President Bush tells us that he's creating
2.3 million new high paying jobs. Now if he would only put out a posting
on where these jobs are, the exodus could begin. I know they're not in
New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or anywhere in the South. Is he speaking
of us all relocating to India-Guam-Taiwan-China-or Russia? Where are they?
It can't be farming. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of
years past, have been replaced by windowless metal sheds, wire cages, gestation
crates, and other confinement systems--known as factory farming. Animals
are now fed drugs to fatten them faster and are genetically altered to
grow faster or to produce more milk or eggs than they would naturally.
These farms produce billions of pounds of manure a day, which ends up in
lakes, rivers and drinking water. Little wonder that we are warned to not
eat the fish, and that people have built up an immunity to antibiotics
in their bodies; seeing that they get their fill in the foods they eat
- "If there was a law, they was workin' with maybe
we could take it, but it ain't the law. They're workin' away our spirits,
tryin' to make us cringe and crawl, takin' away our decency." Tom
Joad-Grapes of Wrath.
No, these millions of new jobs ain't gonna be in the mines, mills, foundries,
fishing ports, auto plants, computers, nor back on the farm. Millions lost
their farms in the 80s after the government urged them to load up on debt
in the 70s and then cut off their markets while the bankers cut off the
credit. When the tractors rolled in Washington, people in the cities couldn't
care less because they didn't see how the turnover of family farms into
corporate agriculture affected them. They do now. Too late.
The last 20 years has seen a consolidation of agribusiness. The Justice
Department, covering the breasts of nude statues in Washington, antitrust
division, is nowhere to be seen. In '94 Congress (Democrats and Republicans)
passed the North American Free Trade Agreement that opened American markets
to Canadian and Mexican Crops. Iowa has seen a $1 billion loss of farm
income. In North Dakota, 2,511 wheat and cattle farmers have folded in
the last two years with an additional 1,807 expected to quit this year.
Nope, we're not going back to the farm, which is what saved many during
the Great Depression. In the South, said to be a bastion of Republicans,
it's no better. Poultry processors have successfully gained a virtual monopoly
on production by controlling the farmers who are now contracted to raise
chickens and turkeys for them. The farmers make the capital investments
and take all of the risks. It's called a "win win" proposition
for the corporate hucksters.
With just over two million farms remaining in the country one can imagine
the danger. Hogs. State and local officials (easily compromised) have done
nothing to protect hapless people in their communities from large scale
producers that claim the right to put thousands of hogs anywhere (not near
the rich-golf courses-country clubs) they want. The spineless compromised
Environmental Protection Agency, can fine the corporation AFTER the waste
spills into the local water supply and AFTER the hogs are sold at a profit
that makes the fine (like all corporate destroying businesses) little more
than a business expense. With state regulators also compromised air pollution
regulations are ignored.
Out in the West its water. Across the nation local utilities are being
privatized--in many instances by foreign owners. Farmers in Colorado, Arkansas
etc., no longer able to make a go of it are selling off their water rights.
Bennett Raley, a Denver water lawyer, is now the Bush administration's
point man for Western water issues. Out in the Arkansas River Valley farms
are giving way to prisons, prisons and more prisons. In Crowley County
the railroad stations, stores and car dealerships are all closed. The two
new prisons there house 2,000 male inmates, half the county's population.
What to do with a nation full of young men in need of employment? Lock'em
up or send them off as cannon fodder for rich men's wars of global conquest.
Give them the mantra of freedom, liberation, democracy and ridding the
world of terrorism. Meantime, billions are being made by the few in lucrative
blow'em up then rebuild contracts, and oil deals. Need to get rid of nuclear
waste? Simple, make the bombs and shredding weaponry from depleted uranium.
Drop it all over Kosovo and Iraq. Land, waters, people poisoned for billions
of years-no matter; call it "collateral damage". Human resources,
herd, simpletons, masses, useless eaters, acceptable risks, towel heads,
rag heads, dispossessed, downsized, et al; faceless and nameless. Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld says we don't count them.
- No we don't see them, and we don't number them. We don't
see the anguish of mothers, fathers, children, wives and husbands of those
returned unceremoniously in bags. We don't see the armless child, the little
girl dead with shredded feet, nor the melted bodies. We don't see the maimed
in military hospitals; minus arms, legs, or blinded. I think of the young
armless veteran in Massachusetts, the parents of an only son in Vermont,
the boy from northern New Hampshire who loved to fish with his grandfather,
the young mothers dead in war. Women in war...what madness is this? Mothers
and fathers, both at war leaving babies with grandparents. No, not the
young of those who champion "bring'em on" but the young of farmers,
auto plant workers, ghettos, and small rural towns. Dead for what?
Ridding the world of terrorism? How is this done? How do you fight the
fog? How do you catch a moonbeam in your hand? I told Senator Kerry when
he visited New Hampshire, that terror could also be applied to those without
jobs, unable to feed their children, those without medical coverage, eviction
notices, and shut-off notices. I went on to explain that fear and dread
depended on one's perspective. He assured me that it was the al-Queda that
we should fear. With several homes worth $20 million, and never suffering
a job loss at age 50, the loss of his home with nowhere to turn, it was
evident, as it is with most politicians, that he had no empathetic understanding
or knowledge of the paralyzing fear this brings. Most especially in a nation
with no safety-net and nobody to care.
- Politicians today, are an mostly an ingathering of the
well off, the rich, the soon to be rich, servicing the money boys. They
come out of the woodwork every few years to mix with the unwashed masses
promising, forever promising; better education (a joke), prescriptions,
medical care, jobs, housing, etc. Ten years after they voted NAFTA which
was supposed to secure jobs for Mexicans-Canadians and Americans they note
the exodus of 11 million Mexicans looking for jobs and millions of unemployed
Americans and Canadian companies now out sourcing. Now, they're going to
look at the five volumes of NAFTA they never read before voting on. Please
spare us the lies.
Not one politician has spoke to the newest final death knell to American
jobs, that took place in Miami in November(FTAA). Not one has spoken to
the tens of thousands of citizens marching (not covered on TV) to save
our jobs, and how thousands of police with stun guns, shields, clubs, pepper
spray and plastic bullets assaulted them. The elderly "terrorized"
in the land supposedly fighting world "terrorism". The media
part and parcel of this theater of the bizarre, instead had the specter
of Michael Jackson round the clock. News, journalists, investigative reporting,
is now as echoing as the untold stories across the land of the dust bowl
now the rust bowl. Silence equals consent.
Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson's exposed breast, gay marriages,
car chases, Donald Trump, and whatever goofy reality show he does, the
Passion, hearings on steroids, Las Vegas marriages, molesting priests,
ad nauseam election antics etc., but no news. Nothing that addresses the
confusion, fears, despair and anguish of the nation. Instead, we get Sherwin
Williams, color coded fear days, advice of duct tape and plastic sheeting,
for that next attack, followed by the calm advice to keep shopping. Pensions
robbed, jobs gone, bankruptcies, hundreds of thousands of homeless, people
dying for lack of medical care, salaries plummeting, taxes, cost of living
out of sight, and nothing. Nothing but insane babbling, and public relations
canned propaganda, disguised as real news.
- Industry protected with Right to Work (for less) legislation,
Minimum Wage at $5.15 (voted fine in NH), pollution excused, tax subsidies
for the wealthy resorts, pork for those special states, Medicare monies
for the insurance and pharmaceuticals, and the people? The people be damned.
With lucrative salaries, five medical plans to choose from, jobs for family
members, astounding pension plans, yearly cost of living increases, lobbying
jobs waiting should one retire; why politicians don't care and can't identify
with the "terror" of a nation's race to the bottom in this planned
global plantation, because they don't have to.
- They won't be the armless Veteran in Massachusetts, the
auto worker with no place to go, the miner suffering Black Lung, the scarred
steel worker, the fireman laid off, the mother or father working two and
three jobs, or the family living in their car "terror" stricken
that welfare will take their children. No they don't know because there's
no need to know. They have their nests feathered and what happens to the
other (us) is none of their concern. When you belong to an elite club of
political favoritism, you can vote your needs-wants-and desires into being.
With 32.7 million new immigrants in the past decade alone brought in, there's
plenty to do the scut work for the few jobs left without the threat of
strikes. Industry is methodical and visionary in their seeing to a well
run plantation. They work in increments of decades not week to week or
paycheck to paycheck. Meanwhile keep the rabble at each other's throats,
send them to prison or war, give them 500 TV channels, lots of movies,
concerts, sports and you've got it made.
The men and women who built a nation, went to war after war, worked hard,
obeyed the laws (weren't fleecing people), are now being kicked to the
curb. A man loses his job, his farm, his land. The one becomes the hundreds,
then thousands, and then millions. The one becomes the 'we'. Greed, arrogance,
superiority, elitism the quality of owning, possesses the Haves into a
forever "I" and cuts them off from the "we". Men were
not made to be idle, living in cars, under bridges, nor listening to the
cry of hungry children. Men hunger for joy and some semblance of security
(not duct tape). The one becomes the millions in their ache to grow, to
work, to create. Man yearns to leave a part of himself in creation. Soon
men will know that dying for a concept, shredding the lives of others like
himself, is not the way. He was meant to create not destroy. Groveling
and shuffling, under the threats and intimidation of the few must stop.
The one with his smoldering eyes, his haunted fearful wife and his terror-striken
children will ignite the spark. The one is not alone anymore-despite the
containment of the media in its reporting of the restlessness the awakening.
Faceless corporations, with their minions of political lackeys, doing their
bidding; are not meant to farm the land, drench it with mineral destroying
chemicals, nor to alter natures way with sterilized seeds nor genetics.
The animals of the earth are not meant to be filled with growth hormones,
caged, mutilated, 'terrorized', in sunless factory farms for profit. The
waters of the world are not for the taking by water barons. They belong
to the 'we'. The oceans are not the property of oil or gas interests sending
fishing fleets home to rot at dockside. Millions, be they in China, Russia,
Romania, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Haiti, Mexico, South America, the Philippines,
South Korea, etc., are not "collateral damage" not fodder for
profiteers, to spend their brief lives in sweat shop labors for pennies
a day, so that others might lead designer clad lives.
The youth of one land is not made to take up guns-bombs-and shredding,
melting weapons, to kill for another lands resources or strategic location.
The jungles of Africa are not the possession of giant oil companies; destroying-poisoning-and
plundering rain forests and rural villages. The mountains of South America
do not belong to timber companies, destroying the irreplaceable that remote
people's have cared for. This is not a global plantation to be ruled by
the few at the cost to the billions. Clowns with hatchets, mad with perverse-lustful-power,
were never given the authority to be gatekeepers over the lives of billions;
telling them what to think, where to travel, or what to read or speak,
nor to be worked to death. How dare they! But......the one becomes the
two or three and then the millions. Men were not meant to be caged-this
is our land our planet not a factory farm.
- "I got to figure, we all got to figure. There's
some way to stop this. It's not like lightening or earthquakes. We've got
a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change."
Grapes of Wrath
- From Robert Cardwell
- That one is a "keeper". Best thing I've ever
read on rense.com! Hits every single note that people are talking about,
shouting about, rather.
- From Joe Vinduska
- Hello Judith
- I just read your article. I agree 100%. I thought I was
the only one that felt like that. It's all gone to Hell in a hand basket
and NO one seems to give a damn. The masses?? They just keep drinking,
drugging and screwing. Not necessarily in that order. The children are
getting REALLY screwed up. What happens when they get to run the show??
We ain't seen NOTHING yet!! It all scares me anymore. You take care of
yourself. I enjoy your writings.
From John & Michelle Toland
- What a impressive article! Coming from a area that reflects
this and having family memebers still living in this rural enviroment you
really hit it straight on. The thing that you failed to address are the
church's in the Florida are buying up land and making these huge church
businesses, are they doing it everywhere? Enjoyed your article and keep
up the good work.